Asset Management as a long-term career?

Rank: Gorilla | 543

What is the career path for someone in CRE Asset Management look like? I know you start as an analyst, but what does this career path look like 10-20 years in, assuming you stay in it? Pay, hours, etc? Assume this is at a REIT or REPE firm, not a bank doing loan management. I've interviewed at a couple of places and have another one coming up and am interested in knowing more about the field, since it is often overshadowed by acquisitions.

Comments (16)

 
Feb 28,2017

also interested. might have an opportunity with a developer in Asset Management

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Feb 28,2017

It varies a lot by the fund's size, asset type, market focus, and strategy (see below). In general, you make anywhere between 50-75k with no to little bonus in the first couple of years. Hours are decent, most weeks are 40, some weeks are 50, very rare 60-hour weeks, may be just once or twice a year you work longer than that. Pay will rise to 100-150k with probably 10-25% bonus when you have 10 year of experience under your belt. Top/head asset managers make anywhere between 3-400k to low 7 figures.

Size: for funds with less than $1B AUM, acquisition and Asset Management or asset management and accounting functions are not that clear-cut. You may be hired as an asset management analyst and you will spend half of the time underwrite deals for the senior acquisition guys. Or if you are unfortunate, you will be spending a shit load of time with accounting stuff.

Asset type: I have known industrial managers who manage both east coast and west coast portfolios. On the other hand, many retail asset managers focus on just one super regional shopping centre. I think hours would not be significantly different. If I have to guess, for the same portfolio value, I say the retail guys will make more.

Location: Does the fund focus on 2-3 cities or a regional (in many case it is also just one asset type) or national or global? If is it just 2-3 cities or regional fund focusing on one asset type, as the fund scales up, you can enjoy a good ride with the fund (think if you work for an office fund focusing on NYC, as the fund grows, all money will be likely stay in NYC office, the portfolio you manage gets bigger and more bonus likely to follow).

Strategy: Is it a core fund or opportunistic fund? If it is an opportunistic fund, asset managers may not do direct asset management. My firm has an asset management team but given our strategy, we always partner with local managers (most of the time this is also the GPs in the projects). The asset management team in this case oversees and manages outside managers. This team also works on follow-up development (say we buy an industrial portfolio with lot of excess land, as the tenants roll, we can develop a new building for the tenants if they want to upgrade their space or expand). This team builds great relationship with many GPs and they are often the first contact for new deals. Their compensation is on par with acquisition team.

 
Feb 28,2017

Thanks a ton for that post, it's very helpful. The firm I'll be interviewing with is a big REIT with offices across the US and internationally, so AUM is significant and this office does mostly one asset type. Not sure as to what the geography of the assets are, though.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

 
Feb 28,2017

At a REIT, you can easily make your way from AM over to Acquisitions/Dispositions. I also work for a large REIT, and our AM team has sort of become a feeder for Transactions.

I would say in 10-20 years you either stay in AM, and at that point should find yourself in a Senior Director - VP position around the 10 year mark, SVP 15-20 years in. Or you move over to Transactions or Development and are at the Director level by year 10. It is hard to say where you'll be 10+ years out honestly because that really depends on how good you are. But looking around the business if you have 10+ years exp and are doing well you should be there or higher up.

The switch to Development seems less likely and I'm seeing pretty lean development teams with only 1 or 2 junior guys who are slated for growth. You might be able to hop over from AM at some point but you'd probably have to take a haircut and start over at the bottom. On the other hand I have seen guys in AM get to the Senior Analyst level or something along those lines and make the switch over to the Transactions side at Associate/Senior Associate with a promotion.

 
Feb 28,2017
Swarles Barkley:

At a REIT, you can easily make your way from AM over to Acquisitions/Dispositions. I also work for a large REIT, and our AM team has sort of become a feeder for Transactions.

I would say in 10-20 years you either stay in AM, and at that point should find yourself in a Senior Director - VP position around the 10 year mark, SVP 15-20 years in. Or you move over to Transactions or Development and are at the Director level by year 10. It is hard to say where you'll be 10+ years out honestly because that really depends on how good you are. But looking around the business if you have 10+ years exp and are doing well you should be there or higher up.

The switch to Development seems less likely and I'm seeing pretty lean development teams with only 1 or 2 junior guys who are slated for growth. You might be able to hop over from AM at some point but you'd probably have to take a haircut and start over at the bottom. On the other hand I have seen guys in AM get to the Senior Analyst level or something along those lines and make the switch over to the Transactions side at Associate/Senior Associate with a promotion.

This individual brought up a good point - at a young age an AM role will help you immensely in an acquisitions role (if that is your goal). Running numbers is easy imo, but understanding how a property operates w/ all the unforeseen hurdles is the tough part.

That's just my opinion.

 
Feb 28,2017

I would rather go to development or acquisitions.

 
Feb 28,2017
5 million:

I would rather go to development or acquisitions.

Missing the point. I too would rather go to development or acquisitions, but different people succeed in each type of role.

 
Feb 28,2017

Bump, anyone with any personal experiences to share?

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

 
Feb 28,2017

Comp for NYC REPE by function:

 
Mar 31,2017

I just got a job doing Asset Management for a large $5+ billion CRE fund. Base is $60k but can get up to 25% bonus (which I intend on maxing out). Anyone know what is the typical promotional timeline for analyst>senior analyst>manager?

 
Mar 31,2017

You mind giving a quick run down of how you got that job? I've been looking to make some moves and Asset Management interested me.

 
Mar 31,2017

Just got my MS Finance degree with a real estate concentration from a non target. I had one highly relevant internship doing commercial mortgages and one feeble unpaid internship in REIT investing.

I'm actually surprised I got the offer because even though the guy I was competing with only had a Bachelors degree, he had 8 months of working experience at CBRE doing development

 
Mar 31,2017

Ah ok. How valuable do you think the MSF was? I'm looking to make the jump from investment sales and have had a tough time. Made it to a lot of interviews but have not been able to get the offer.

 
Mar 31,2017

For you (assuming you have a BS Finance) it probably wouldn't be worth it for only moving to AM. Getting interviews is a good sign, maybe the issue is with interview skills? I only got my MSF because I had a history degree and 0 job prospects. If you're already in the industry, I think it'd only be worth going to grad school for trying to get jobs that start at $100k or more

 
Mar 31,2017